[AMRadio] A special day today

David Knepper collinsradio at comcast.net
Mon Jan 19 16:20:56 EST 2009

What I still wonder even today is how WRL/Leo Meyerson could make such death 
traps and get away with it.

I still have a Galaxy V that when you life up the lid, there is the PA cage 
fully exposed.

What was he thinking?  Could it have been $$$$$ by shaving costs.  No 
interlocks on the "big boy: - the Globe King 500.

David Knepper, W3ST/W3CRA

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <sbjohnston at aol.com>
To: <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 2:35 PM
Subject: [AMRadio] A special day today

> It is indeed a special day today.  I'm working on the restoration of my
> old WRL Galaxy 300 SSB transceiver - my first SSB rig I bought as a new
> General lo those many years ago.  I had to pull use all my savings,
> plus cash gifts from my parents and grandmother to scrape enough money
> to buy it mail-order from Associated Radio in Kansas City.  I think it
> cost $229.
> This is the rig that put me in the hospital on Martin Luther King Day
> 1977 or 1978.   I was 13-14 years old, fooling around one evening in my
> room, trying to determine why there was a tube shield on the Galaxy's
> 6BZ6 RF amp tube.  It is located right behind the finals in the PA
> compartment.
> At one point I got very careless.  With the transceiver turned on
> (bad), in fact transmitting a full-power carrier (very bad), I lifted
> the lid and reached back in with my right hand to remove the 6BZ6's
> shield. Trouble is, to get to it I reached over the two 6HF5 finals and
> their plate caps with about 900 volts DC, plus a couple hundred watts
> of RF.  My wrist touched the plate caps at the same time my fingers
> reached the tube shield, and the shocking and the burning commenced.
> My hand drew up in a fist, making it seemingly impossible to pull it
> back out. With the pain of the electric shock and RF burns I couldn't
> get my hand out!  Fortunately I was only using one hand for this
> madness, and I ultimately pushed myself away with my other hand on the
> wooden desk.  This also meant that the current had only flowed through
> my hand and arm, not across my chest (very good).
> I had some pretty serious and painful burns on my hand and forearm.
> Clutching my wounded limb, I sat on my bed considering my options.  I
> had a VERY BIG CONCERN that if I told my parents what had happened
> they'd stop my ham hobby dead.  I was also very embarrassed to have
> hurt myself in such a dumb way.  But I was also hurting pretty bad, and
> worried about the side-effects of a strong shock, so I concluded to be
> up-front about it.  Not sure now how I would have hidden the injuries
> anyway. now that I think about it thirty years later.
> They handled it very well, and took me to the hospital emergency room.
> The doctor did not understand the situation very well and was checking
> my feet for burns, worried about my heart, etc - and he demanded that I
> be kept overnight.  I was admitted and put into a bed in a room with
> eight patients.
> All night long, every few minutes one or another of these poor souls
> needed a nurse for something and would start calling out, ringing
> bells, moaning and crying.  The nurse would finally enter, switching on
> the gigantic bank of fluorescent lights that lit the whole room like
> the surface of the sun.  Click... zzzzzz.. , snap, snap, snap as the
> lights fired individually and finally hummmmmm they were on and I was
> blinded by the light.  No sleep for me, and I spent part of the the
> next day in the hospital wasting a school holiday - Martin Luther King
> Day.
> My parents never said a word in judgment of my foolishness or against
> ham radio because of this accident.   And I was able to "milk" my
> injury to get me out of gym class for several months (very good).
> "Before" photos of the Galaxy 300 at
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/34505242@N02/sets/72157612756003726/
> Steve WD8DAS
> sbjohnston at aol.com
> http://www.wd8das.net/
> -----------------------------------------------------
> Radio is your best entertainment value.
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